2021 was an interesting and overall good year for us and the house, especially the inside!
First, our construction efforts had to fit around some other events in our lives in general. We are grateful to live in a town and a state that has taken Covid seriously; we were able to get vaccinated and “boosted” and have stayed well. Susan had her second hip replaced in early May, with recovery (and lots of physical therapy) extending into the fall, but is now in great shape. Tim’s sister in North Carolina passed away unexpectedly in mid-May, so Tim made several trips to North Carolina and has spent many hours being the person in charge of settling her affairs. In addition, this year he had extra work as a Lister for our town. Tim rowed his single during the summer, but competed less than in other years. Susan continued her local activities regarding climate change, as well as playing recorder.
Meanwhile, despite everything, we (mostly Tim!) accomplished several major projects on the house. The 3-season porch got it’s floor. To get ready to construct the “real” stairs to the second floor, we first had to “finish” the downstairs master bedroom, bathroom and closet. Then we had to move downstairs so Tim could replace the “construction” stairs with the real ones. Then he constructed the “real” stairs, a project that took weeks with many interesting problems to solve. And right before Christmas we installed the flooring on the second floor.
What follows is more detail on on each of these projects. Remember that you can double-click on any photo to see it larger and with the caption below it. We’ll start with the bathroom, designed to have a curb-less roll-in shower. First, Tim had to construct the floor of the shower, since the drain had to be lower than the rest of the floor. Then various layers had to go on the floors and walls for waterproofing and to support the tiles, and for the heated floor.
We are enjoying the fanciest bathroom we have ever had! (Note, the toilet is out of sight on the lower right of the photo.)
Another big project was laying the flooring for the bedroom, closet, and hallway. We had several kinds of wood flooring we had picked up over the last few years, so Tim made a beautiful border.
Once we were all moved downstairs, it was time to tackle the stairs! This has been a complex project that took weeks before we could use the stairs at all.
Once we could use the stairs, and we had a few days before driving to Michigan for Christmas, we decided to blow it out and install the bamboo flooring on the 2nd floor.
Of course it took longer than we had thought, but we got it all done before leaving. When we got back home after a wonderful visit with our daughter and son-in-law, we decided to go ahead with the sheet rocking and painting still to do upstairs. And Tim is continuing to stay busy with many details on the stairs and stairwell.
There are many aspects of the stairs and 2nd floor to finish. Among them, Tim is working on newel posts for the top and bottom of the stairs, and then our near neighbor who is a blacksmith will make wrought iron ballisters that we will install with railings. More painting on the second floor, plus a thorough cleaning, and then we can rearrange all our stuff and bring some furniture (like a real desk and book cases!) from our storage unit.
Also, last spring Tim put down the flooring (polyurethaned oak-faced plywood) on the 3-season porch, and we really enjoyed it in all 3 seasons! The sun warmed it enough to sit out there even when when there was still snow on the ground outside! Photo on the left.
Of course we also had the usual activities and weather through the year. A good vegetable garden, lots of flowers, and a beautiful fall and first snowfalls.
Every day we are so grateful to be here! Our house is keeping us warm and sheltered even through recent sub zero temperatures. We have many wonderful friends here. We are happy!